I never thought I’d be here writing about this. I definitely thought I wouldn’t be open to sharing this. Here it is though, staring me in the face. I am facing the fact that when I go and check a box, I will have to select …
What an ugly word.
It all began with a marriage. All of our best friends and family went with us to a tropical beach. We had the time of our lives. There were parties on the beach, dancing, laughing—all of the fun ways you celebrate being in love.
The morning after we said our vows, a worker at the front desk referred to him as my husband, and I couldn’t stop smiling. We went down to the pool in the morning, and there sat reserved signs for the Mr. & Mrs. It felt so incredible seeing it in writing. I was over the moon.
Fast forward, about a year later I became pregnant. We were overjoyed. We had been trying for a few months, and couldn’t wait to be parents. We had talked about having a family for years.
I thought I was the happiest I had ever been. Then one day…
He cheated. With someone my mom’s age. While I was pregnant. My whole life was about to change.
Never, ever in my life did I see this coming. I was completely blindsided. I can’t even begin to convey how much I knew this would never happen to me. This kind of thing only happened to other people. I wasn’t one of those people who would end up divorced.
I knew what I had to do. My mom had raised a very strong, independent woman. There was nothing he could do to change my mind, though I was interested in understanding what happened so I could heal. The rollercoaster of the last two years would take three novels to explain. Here’s the short story: he fought for us…he gave up…he said he’d never talk about what happened…he refused counseling…he went back to her…continued lying…he left me alone to take care of our son…he came back…left again…fought his hardest when he found out I bought a home of my own, and still fights to this very day. I’ll never know what happened, and I’ve learned to accept that.
I was going to be a single mom. What?? I felt like suddenly I was on the show 16 and pregnant…except I was 29. Who was this man I married?
How could this be happening to me? I was with the same person for twelve years. I thought I knew exactly how much life would turn out. Again, this only happened to other people.
After I made him leave, I found myself sitting on my kitchen floor at 11 at night, holding my two month old while bawling my eyes out. I could barely see the numbers on my phone as I dialed my mom. I was at my lowest of lows.
“I can’t understand you…Is Josh okay?? What’s going on? Is Josh okay? We will all be right over.”
And, they came. My best support group. My family.
I read the letters I had found. It was all the evidence I needed. I sat on my bathroom floor reading them with my sister until I could read them no more. My family stayed so that I could sleep.
That was the only day I allowed myself to do that. It was the only day I really wallowed. I was Josh’s mom. I needed to be there for him. He was my reason for everything, and I vowed to continue to be the best mom I knew how. I didn’t want him to see me sad, so I didn’t.
My family and closest friends only knew for that entire first year. I didn’t dare speak to anyone else about it. They were my support, and I trust each and every one of them. I owe them everything. They listened and listened. They kept me the happy girl that I am. I can’t even express the things that they did for me.
Almost two years ago this all began. That’s when I found out that life isn’t always what you expect. Life throws you things that you don’t even think you can handle~ but you can and you do handle it. I gathered every bit of happiness back and more. I moved on. I hired a lawyer. I hired a realtor. I found my perfect home for my son and I. I packed up. I moved out. All of those same supportive people were there for me moving me in the day before work started last summer.
If you would have asked me a year ago what my life would be like now, I wouldn’t have imagined it is what it is. I didn’t know my life could actually be even happier than it was before. Things actually do work out. You can get past things. Things that consumed your thoughts, they lessen. Your worries begin to fade. Your strength grows mountains. It just takes time. I wish I could tell this to girls that think they will never get over it. Girls who stay because they think they aren’t strong enough to leave or think they can’t do better. You can, and you will. I am living proof.
Divorce…it’s not the end of you. It’s just the beginning of something new. It most definitely doesn’t define you.